News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

SSD books in good order per audit

With Edie Jones seated as its newest member, the Sisters School Board found that the books are in good shape at their meeting on Wednesday, February 5 at the Sisters School District administrative building.

With no citizens present to contribute community comments, the meeting got underway with a video call to the company hired to do the annual audit for the District as a way to get live feedback of any issues needing immediate attention or action from the board and superintendent. The auditors answered a few questions and confirmed that the books looked to be in good order.

The board moved on to hearing from High Desert Education Service District Superintendent Paul Andrews and local ESD board member Carol Moorehead, a resident of Sisters, regarding what is known as the Local Service Plan. The High Desert ESD serves Deschutes and Crook counties, and in a smaller way most of the counties in the area east of the Cascades.

Sisters School District receives services and support through the ESD for services such as the substitute teacher scheduling service, specialists in occupational therapists and adaptive technology, career and technical education (CTE) and many others as part of a package to which all member school districts have access. In addition, Sisters School District can choose from a menu for which services they want to contract with the ESD in other areas. Andrews’ brief presentation served the purpose of informing the board as they make decisions for the next school year as to which services to purchase.

In other business, representatives from the high school, middle school and elementary school communicated updates on the work being done by staff on the mission/vision project (see related story, page 16). Data has been collected, including through a survey called Youth Truth, to help zero in on how the schools are doing on the themes of “Prepare, Belong, and Inspire.”

Superintendent Scholl announced that the construction of the transportation facility that is being built behind SPRD is truly underway, but a completion date was not predicted. Scholl also noted that enrollment in the District remains up overall, but mid-year saw a bit more of kids moving in and out than normal. Sisters Middle School Principal Alison Haney chimed in that with Tumalo Community School eliminating grades 6-8 for next school year, a number of Tumalo families have inquired about bringing students to Sisters for next year.

“We are arranging for a tour with interested families,” she said.

He finished his report by referencing the Student Investment Account monies that are tied to the new state-wide Student Success Act and reminded the board that an additional non-competitive grant focused on preschool to second grade will be completed before the April 15 deadline pending board approval prior to that date.

Board Chair Jay Wilkins mentioned that one position is still unfilled for the Sisters School District Budget Committee.

The meeting concluded following first and second readings for a total of nine policies that required minor changes to reflect changes in state law, all of which were approved unanimously.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for March 4, beginning at 5 p.m.


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